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The big business of South Africa's game farms

South Africa

The game farming industry in South Africa has grown exponentially over the past 20 years from 3,500 farms in 1991 to over 10,000 game farms today.

It’s an The indusrty now worth around one and a half billion dollars a year – more than half of which comes from trophy hunting.

Here in Limpopo, professional hunter Tony has 30 minutes of daylight left to find a golden wildebeest to try and make some of that money.
It’s one of the last animals his American clients want to kill before they head home to the States.

Phil Kloppenburg and his wife Francine are just two of the estimated 8,600 trophy hunters who visit South Africa each year.

“Hunting in South Africa has way more variety of animals, much different than what we have in the United States. So, it’s a much different style of hunting in the United States,” said Phil.

While critics call it cruel and unethical, many locals here depend on the income and are quick to assure it’s done in a sustainable way..

“We look for the old bulls that has character, that is not breeding anymore and that’s gonna leave, in other words, I’m not gonna, it’s past its conservation value. They have bred, they have done everything they were supposed to do on this earth, now they’re going to America,” said Professional Hunter, Tony De Bruyn.

It’s not all about trophy hunting, the industry also depends on live sale auctions of game, eco-tourism, and animal products – like biltong, the tasty dried meat snack.

Farmers say they want a ban on them slaughtering their animals for meat and products on their own farms lifted – but analysts say this would boost the industry’s value even further.

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